Use Solar Power Chargers And Cradles To Keep Your Devices Charged
Solar chargers and cradles help you charge your devices wherever you are. These chargers are available for most types of phones and tablets. They are ideal for outdoor activities and can also help keep your phone charged in case of an emergency where you don’t have access to electricity, and they can be easily found on eBay.
How do solar chargers work?
Solar powered chargers and cradles have a solar panel on them that collects energy when the charger is in direct sunlight. This energy is then used to power your compatible phone or other devices. The amount of time needed in the sun to fully charge your device depends on the power of the charger and your device’s battery. Most solar chargers connect directly to your device with a USB cable so that you can charge your device on the spot. There are many affordable options available on eBay.
What features should you look for in a solar charger?
There are several features that can make a charger more functional. To help you make the right choice for your needs, here is some information on optional features that can be found on some chargers on eBay:
- Waterproof – Keeps the charger safe from the elements works well for camping and hiking
- Flashlight – Provides you with a light source when you need it
- Universal fit – Can be used for many different types of devices works well for groups or families
- Dual ports – Allows you to charge two devices at once
What devices can be charged using solar power?
Best Overall Solar Charger
- Multiple Device Charging Speed9.0
- Weight & Portability6.0
Weight:Number of USB outlets:REASONS TO BUY
The BigBlue 3 goes above and beyond the rest. Thanks to its impressive charging abilities and consistent performance across the board, this panel maintains its place at the top of the pack for another year. Though there may be other options out there that charge faster or look cooler, nothing beats this model when it comes to overall performance. When your electronics need a boost, this panel will deliver a consistent charge in variable conditions . In terms of features, we love the built-in ammeter and the zippered accessory pouch. We also appreciate this panel’s simplicity and reasonable price tag. With three USB ports and a classic fold-out design, the BigBlue is an excellent all-arounder that will efficiently charge most small gadgets.
One downside to this panel is its weight. Weighing in at 23.5 ounces, it’s a bit heavy. As a result, it’s better suited for front-country use, though it will excel wherever you use it. Other than its weight, this panel receives high marks across the board.
- Multiple Device Charging Speed9.0
- Weight & Portability7.0
Weight:Panel Size:REASONS TO BUYREASONS TO AVOID
It’s not the lightest model that we tested, but it does pretty well for its size . Its tri-folding design is about the size of a magazine and is easy to store. This contender was hard to beat when it came to charging capabilities, weight, and price.
Best For Laptops: Rockpals 250w Portable Power Station
Courtesy of Rockpals
Weight: 11 pounds | Dimensions : 13.78 x 13.39 x 2.36 inches | Output ports: 250W continuous dual AC outputs, two USB 2.1A, four DC 12V ports | Accessories: 6.5 foot AC adapter, 3.3 foot car charger cable, DC to cigarette lighter socket adapter
Most laptops consume between 40 and 70 watts when charging, compared with just 2 to 6 watts used by cell phones. This means youll need a larger power bank plus a stronger solar panel to continuously replenish itso typical power banks wont cut it.
The Rockpals 250-watt power station includes a 60-watt expanding solar panel case and a multi-purpose power station with a 64,800 mAh lithium battery for charging several devices. The Rockpals station and panel is a convenient, portable unit that can turn any area into an off-grid office.
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What To Look For When Looking For A Solar Panel Phone Charger
Suppose you are looking for an excellent solar panel phone charger. In that case, you should consider specific characteristics and avoid cheap, low-quality chargers. High-quality chargers will last longer and are more reliable when you need them the most.
Here are some things you should consider when getting a solar charger for your phone:
- Power output
- Direct solar charger or with a built-in battery
- Additional features
In general, it is better to opt for a solar phone charger with a built-in battery to use at the most convenient time for you. The power output needs to be powerful enough to charge your device. Typically a wattage between 10-15 watts is sufficient.
The size and weight are essential and should be considered based on what you need to do. For example, suppose you plan to do a lot of walking and outdoor activities. In that case, a lightweight and compact phone charger is better.
Some solar phone chargers are only compatible with a brand. So it is good to verify if your device can connect with it. Another thing you want to verify is the number of USB ports.
If you have more than one device you need to charge, you could get a Solar phone charger with two or more USB ports. You can get a universal solar charger to charge laptops, tablets, and other devices if you want to go the extra mile.
Biolite Solar Panel 5+
This solar panel is well designed to place it on any terrain or you can even hang it on the tree to get maximum sunlight. This is compatible with many phones, tablets, and also cameras. This provides the battery backup facility wherein you can charge and use it at any time. It is a lightweight device weighing less than 250 grams which makes it travel-friendly. The only con we can find in this is it has only one USB output port.
Fig. 5 Image of BioLite Solar Panel
Using A Solar Power Bank
A Solar power bank charger has a battery pack alongside the solar panels. You dont have to hook your phone directly on the solar charger and you only charge from the power bank. In most types the solar panel is quite small and solar charging is only as a backup option. It is important you charge the bank via an AC source.
Solar Mobile Phone Charger Circuit Diagram
The circuit diagram shown below consists of voltage and current regulation along with the over-voltage protection circuit. The connections are as follows: the anode terminal of the diode is connected to the positive terminal of the solar panel, and the cathode terminal of the diode is connected to the input pin of the LM317 voltage regulator. The output terminal of the LM317 is connected to the anode terminal of the diode , and the cathode terminal of the diode is connected to the cathode terminal of the Zener diode. The anode terminal of the Zener diode is connected to the base of the BC547 transistor through a 100 Ohm resistor. The collector terminal of the BC547 transistor is connected to the output pin of the LM317 voltage regulator through a 150 Ohm resistor. The emitter terminal of the BC547 transistor is connected to the GND. The adjust pin of the LM317 is connected to the potentiometers variable end and the collector terminal of the BC547 transistor. One of the potentiometers fixed end is connected to the GND. The wire connected to the VCC pin of the micro USB cable is connected to the cathode terminal of the Zener diode and the wire connected to the GND pin of the USB cable is connected to the GND.
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Are There Maintenance Measures To Take For A Solar Phone Charger
While solar phone chargers are ideal because of their low maintenance, you will still have to take proper care of them to increase their operation and overall performance. Cleaning one of these devices is very straightforward. All you have to do is spray water on it. To prevent a thermal shock, you are advised not to use water that is too cold when cleaning in the sun.
The 5 Best Solar Phone Chargers Of 2022
The struggle to keep your phone charged while out and about is real, especailly while on the road, during camping trips, backpacking, at festivals, or spending the day in the park. The good news is that there is now an easy charging solution – solar phone chargers.
These portable chargers allow us to take advantage of free and abundant solar power to ensure that well never be without a backup for charging all of our phones, no matter where we are.
There are virtually thousands of options for solar phone chargers available online. But dont worry, we did the hard work for you and scoured the internet for the best solar phone chargers in 2022.
*Note: This is an unbiased review: we have no financial ties with any of the companies mentioned, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.
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Make The Charger Pack
I wanted to be able to charge my phone while I was on the move so I made a custom pack to hang from my backpack, similar to the solarmonkey. I used an old lunch box my son doesn’t use anymore. It was just lying around collecting dust so I repurposed it for this project.
Whatever you use you will probably want a way to attach your solar panel and battery pack. For this I used sticky back velcro and it worked great. The lunchbox I used has a compartment for an ice pack, convenient for storing a cell phone in this case. I just cut a small hole for the USB cable to connect my cell phone to the battery pack. I can keep this pouch zipped up with my cell phone safely inside while the pack is open and charging.
What’s The Best Solar Charger For Iphone
Using the sun to charge your mobile devices is an Earth-friendly approach that pays for itself. Keep in mind solar power should never be the only power source you take on the road. Sketchy weather or even cloudy skies can prohibit efficient charging. However, it’s great if you want to be more environmentally friendly or are camping or hiking.
My top pick comes from BLAVOR. It’s a lightweight but durable portable charger that recharges your iPhone via Qi or USB-C and won’t put a dent in your wallet. It’s also small enough to fit in a backpack or your back pocket.
If you have multiple devices to charge, or you’re heading to the backcountry where you’ll be without power, you want the Feeke high-capacity charger. It can power up to four devices at once and has a built-in Qi charger.
If you’re looking to save a few bucks, go with the Dizaul Solar Power Bank. It has two USB ports and is compatible with all smartphones, GoPros, GPS units, and more. And have you seen that price?
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How Long Will It Take To Charge A Solar Phone Charger
It depends on the capacity of the battery inside the solar phone charger. On average, it takes 1-3 days to charge a solar phone charger depending on the amount of sunlight received.
Most solar phone chargers offer the option of recharging the battery using an AC outlet or a cars 12V socket. This shortens charging time to just a few hours.
What Size Solar Panel Do I Need To Charge A Phone
Solar Cell Phone Chargers are available in different types, sizes, and shapes. Usually, the size of the panel determines the capacity of the charger. What size Solar Panel you need to buy is directly proportional to the device which you plug in to charge. Pick up the Solar Panel which will be compatible with your device.
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Recommended Solar Phone Chargers
I have used at least a dozen solar charges over the past two years. Not all are made well, and many fell apart only after a few months of use. But the ones that hold up and work well, are really great to have as a backup when out in nature with no electricity available.
With that said, here are my four favorite solar phone chargers:
Limitations Of All Solar Phone Chargers
The biggest limitation of ALL solar phone chargers is also what makes them so great: the sun.
Without direct sunshine falling on your solar charger, its not going to charge your phone or will do so painfully slowly.
This is especially a bad problem for combo solar chargers that have integrated battery packs. They often include such low capacity solar panels that it would take days of perfect sunshine to recharge the battery.
Normally, you wont get perfect sunshine, even in the summer. Clouds can form, or you may be traveling through a thickly wooded area.
Thats why I recommend you get the highest wattage solar phone charger you can afford. It will charge your phone faster even with limited sun exposure time.
If you are planning to spend more than a couple of days in the wild, dont get an integrated solar charger+power bank unit. According to most campers, this type of integrated charger will frustrate you because of the low wattage solar panels, sometimes as low as 1 watt. Instead, get a high capacity solar-only charger and buy a couple of battery packs to charge with it.
Another issue with many solar phone chargers is their lack of versatility. They can only produce enough power for small devices.
Unlike larger portable solar chargers, you cannot use them to power your laptop, lamp or medical device.
The payoff is that you’ll get a charger small enough to put in your pocket.
Why Do I Need A Solar Phone Charger
The market for power banks is increasingly popular among people who are always afraid of their cell phones running out of battery. Solar phone chargers are gaining more and more ground within the industry because of their ease of use and their sustainable quality. They promote greater economic and energy savings since they do not depend on electrical networks.Solar phone chargers do not require any special maintenance beyond precautions, such as not exposing them to excessively cold temperatures. You can charge your battery virtually anywhere, anytime while walking, cycling, or performing other outdoor activities.Their sustainable character means that manufacturers often include extensive guarantees . In fact, the durability of the transformer can reach up to 25 years, even when it is subjected to consistent use.
Avoid Extreme Heat And Cold
When using your solar charger to charge your phone you only need to expose your solar panel to the sun and not your phone. Direct sunlight will cause your device to overheat. The operating temperature of a lithium battery is between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most modern chargers will come with pouches with a cable from the solar panels. This will allow you to place the phone away from direct sunlight while charging.
Weve looked at using a 5v solar charger to directly charging your cellphone battery. Now lets look at other set ups that use a solar panel to charge your devices including your battery.
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Best Solar Phone Charger For Iphone
Any 5W-21W solar charger will charge an iPhone in a few hours. The type of USB ports doesnt matter in terms of compatibility with your iPhone. USB to Lightning cables are easy to find.
But keep in mind that special USB ports such as USB-C and Quick Charge-enabled USB will charge your iPhone faster.
When charging your iPhone using a solar charger, remember to keep the phone shaded to prevent overheating. Dont place the solar charger on a hot surface like a rock or concrete as that could reduce its efficiency and output.
The Qisa Solar Power Bank Is Our Top Choice
- College at Brockport, State University of New York
- University of Tennessee
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Treehugger / Chloe Jeong
Solar power banks are an essential for outdoor enthusiasts and offer a way to keep cell phones, cameras, and other gadgets charged when electricity is scarce. Theyre also invaluable when severe weather or power surges cause widespread outages.
These convenient, portable devices have evolved into several different styles, but the two most common are around the size of a cell phone and have either a single portable solar panel or several expanding, folding panels. Solar chargers with one panel are more compact, but also slower to recharge using the suns energy. Multiple panels can speed things up a bit but are often bulkier. The fastest way to recharge both is by plugging a USB into a traditional power source and storing the energy. Once the power bank has been replenished, various electronics can still be charged on the device indoors or at night.
Here are the best solar power banks, many with added features such as wireless charging, waterproof exteriors, and built-in flashlights.
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